Twisp-Post-align-rightBy Sally Gracie

That was quite a storm Saturday night. Sometime after midnight my cat’s yowling woke me. Such noise at night is unusual behavior for Barley, whose crying didn’t cease until I let her out of her motel cage. Beebe was already whining next to my bed.

As I gained consciousness, I was scared by how violently the blinds were flapping against the windowsills. Before I could close all the windows, the rains had blown in from the eastern side and dampened the rug. The wind was like a whip, flogging the sides of the house, letting up, then flogging again. The thunder seemed distant, but the lighting was on and off, on and off. Synchronicity. The lights flickered once, then came on again. Then off, then on, then off, and so they stayed until 9 a.m. Sunday.

I didn’t suffer any property damage, though my backyard was littered with Coke cartons, cereal boxes and other detritus left in the carport for recycling. Also, my pink flamingo took a fall.

Crews on the contract engines and tenders from the Methow Valley are working 13-hour days to contain many of the 10 active fires in the state. One crewmember, a first-year firefighter from Twisp, was on a plateau near Wenatchee on Monday afternoon doing mop-up and securing the fire edge. Her chief has been assigned for two weeks to the 80,000-acre Colockum Tarps fire (98 percent contained as of Aug. 10) and the Milepost 10 fire, which began last Friday and was 30 per cent contained by Monday. His trucks have also been assigned briefly to fires in Vale, Ore., and Naches in Yakima County.

Many of us are torn: We want these crews to make a living, but we still find it strange to be hoping for fire and happy when the men and women go off to work.

While I always intend to write this column over the weekend to meet the noon Monday deadline, I seldom do. This Monday I’m reluctant to put down my history book club book to write. After talking with one of the men in the group, I’m looking forward to next Monday’s meeting (8:30 a.m, Confluence Gallery, open membership).

I like the personal histories that are part of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s No Ordinary Time. I’ve read books about World War II, but never before about the Roosevelts’ marriage, FDR’s romances, and the White House Hotel – the many guests in residence, friends of FDR’s and friends of Eleanor’s – many of whom stayed for years.

I’ve learned so much about Eleanor and her causes – her desire to desegregate the military, end Japanese internment, improve housing and daily life for civilians, and so on – that made her in her time the most-loved and most-hated woman in America.

There should be a spirited discussion next Monday among those of us who like the sexy details and those who don’t.